Abandon the AIO? End of year budget itch.

Tacocat

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Nov 23, 2015
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Hello!

I'm currently happily running FreeNAS on an ESXi host but as I would like to play around some more with virtualization without accidentally interfering with the FreeNAS (and a couple of other services such as ELK and Ubiquiti controller) I have been considering running them (and the other services) on a separate bare metal host.

As I'm living in an apartment I don't have much space and noise should be kept to a minimum. My current setup (E3-1240v5/32GB/4TB) in a Fractal Design R5 case is running cool and quiet however I won't realistically have room for two full size cases.

As I see it I have a few options:

Put the E3 mATX in a cube style case like the Fractal Design Node 804 and whatever other host I decide on in something similar.
  • Limits whatever I decide to get for my other host to mATX or smaller.
  • Might be too big and bulky with 2x 804 cases.
  • Use the E3 for NAS or VM?

Get rid of the E3 and get something mITX to replace it with and put them in something smaller as a Node 304.
  • No real second hand market for server parts here in Europe so it would end up being expensive.
  • Even more constrained in what hosts to get (Xeon-D or C3XXX).
  • Use the E3 for NAS or VM?

Bite the bullet and stick with an AIO.
  • Could stick with a full size case. Easy to keep cool and quiet.
  • Could keep the E3 (might be underpowered?).
  • Or replace it with something more powerful such as a Silver 4110 or something.

I would say budget is around €2000 ($2400) for whatever I need to buy cpu/mb/mem/case/psu. I'll add some more storage later on (probably raid10 10TB drives or something similar).

Let me hear your throughts.. :)
 

Jeggs101

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Dec 29, 2010
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@tomcat are you outgrowing the current setup?

What about changing to Proxmox and running ZFS on metal then VMs and docker on top of Debian?
 
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Tacocat

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Nov 23, 2015
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The motivation was primarily to have a separate machine and not have to worry about messing up services I really care about. However if it ends up being too much of a compromise I would rather stick with an AIO.

I've tried the exact setup you mention and I would say I much prefer Proxmox over ESXi. However I could not find any built-in easily configured ways of setting up network shares in Proxmox as I've grown accustomed to in FreeNAS.

If I'd use two hosts I'd run FreeNAS on the NAS (+bhyve/docker/jails for some services) and Proxmox on the VM host. If I'm sticking to AIO I will probably replace ESXi with Proxmox and keep the virtual FreeNAS.
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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Xeon D or C3000 in a mini-itx box should have you covered unless you plan doing heavy lifting. With that budget you can get the big ones or two smaller ones...
 

Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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Run out of reasonable cost memory (4x32gb) for Xeon-D before you likely exceed the cpu capabilities
 
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nk215

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Oct 6, 2015
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If the current setup meets all your need but you want to play around with VM w/o messing up with your virtualized NAS then get a second setup just to play around with and left your current setup alone.

The second setup doesn't have to be on all the time (IPMI is important here) since it only need to host the VM that you are playing around with).

All my must have VMs, including a NAS, are on my AIO setup that has enough battery backup to last 10 hrs. My other tinkering VMs (including another NAS VM) are on a separate machine which does run 24/7 so noise and power consumption is not that big of a deal (it's a non issue for me either way since all my electronic toys is in a 1000 sq feet isolated space).
 

Tacocat

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Nov 23, 2015
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Xeon D or C3000 in a mini-itx box should have you covered unless you plan doing heavy lifting. With that budget you can get the big ones or two smaller ones...
Yes, I'd assume that something like that would serve me for now, however they each cost about as much as a Silver 4110 + motherboard which is much more expandable.

If the current setup meets all your need but you want to play around with VM w/o messing up with your virtualized NAS then get a second setup just to play around with and left your current setup alone.

The second setup doesn't have to be on all the time (IPMI is important here) since it only need to host the VM that you are playing around with).

All my must have VMs, including a NAS, are on my AIO setup that has enough battery backup to last 10 hrs. My other tinkering VMs (including another NAS VM) are on a separate machine which does run 24/7 so noise and power consumption is not that big of a deal (it's a non issue for me either way since all my electronic toys is in a 1000 sq feet isolated space).
I wish I had 1000 sq feet of space as well, then much of this would be a non-issue. :D

My problem is that replacing the current server with two mITX gets expensive in a hurry. Needs two cases and two PSUs as well. These prices are without VAT:

Code:
Denverton C3955               €720 ($860)
Xeon D-1541                   €810 ($970)
Xeon Silver 4110 + X11SPL-F   €820 ($980)
16Gb DDR4 ECC                 €180 ($215)
Of course the NAS could be something with less power but if I'm using it for virtual services it can't be too slow.
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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Yes, I'd assume that something like that would serve me for now, however they each cost about as much as a Silver 4110 + motherboard which is much more expandable.

16Gb DDR4 ECC €180 ($215)

Of course the NAS could be something with less power but if I'm using it for virtual services it can't be too slow.
1. O/C the silver is a good option too but will need more space - thats the adavantage of the C/D series at the price of cost and expandability;)
2. Unless you have specific ideas what you need/want in terms of VMs then I wouldn't think you need tons of compute. None of my 3 boxes is even close to max utilization, not even if I combine them all to one. RAM is the issue. There have been a couple of discussions around that here already;)
 

K D

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Dec 24, 2016
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Are you hitting a CPU bottleneck with the E3? I am extremely satisfied with my E3 based AIO with 64 Ram which runs omnios/napp-it for storage and a bunch of other windows and Linux vms. Never had a hiccup yet.
 

Pri

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Jul 30, 2014
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I'm surprised that you say there's no real second hand market for server parts here in Europe. I get almost all my server stuff second hand and I'm in Europe :) even the few things I get from the USA work out quite cheap, like $25 shipping and import duty still comes 50-60% less than buying new.